Monday, May 7, 2012

The Stone Diaries

Having run out of pulp fiction this weekend, I dived in to my collection of classics I had picked up the last time I visited Never Without a Book. (This little second-hand bookstore in Northeast Edmonton is a treasure all in itself. Local bibliophiles owe it to themselves a visit.) The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields, weaves tale of woman in a most fantastical interior shape, a carrot grown in a rocky bed. The story also carries me through the modern history of a corner of Canada; also real in it's taste and sounds.

Very much like my family this one, volumes told by all that is left unsaid.

This worthy book has a few quotes I must keep. Here they are:

Of siblings reminiscing, "They shudder with the heat of their own dramas, awestruck by the doubleness of memory, the hold it has on them, as mysterious as telephone wires or the halo around the head of the baby Jesus. Memory could be poked with a stick, savoured in the mouth like a popsicle, you could never get enough of it." (Motherhood, page 175)

Of a father in the twilight of his life, choosing a new path, "...jubilant, anethetized against tomorrow's faint heart and second thoughts, uncertain whether he was moving close to the center of his life or selling off some valuable part of himself. But immediately, with a shudder of joy, he knew what might be done, could be done. Happiness coursed through him in that instant, decision's homely music." (Ease, page 277)

The same father's regret, "...there are chambers, he knows, in the most ordinary lives that are never entered; let alone advertised, and yet they lie pressed againsts the consciousness like leave specimens in an old book." (Ease, page 279)